By now everyone should have read the manual and have started conceiving some game strategies. FIRST Power Up is not a solo game, but a game played 3v3 and has several bonuses when an alliance works together to achieve a common goal. One of those is the AUTO QUEST “ALLIANCE completes three (3) AUTO-RUNS and has OWNERSHIP of their SWITCH at T=0 of the AUTO stage” which earns an alliance 1 RP during a qualification round regardless of the winner.
I challenge all teams to move forward in autonomous and get the AUTO-RUN points, and further challenge teams to work together with their alliance to get the AUTO QUEST.
Working together we can achieve 100% AUTO-RUN and open the door to 100% AUTO QUEST.
Understanding the problem:
Last season for STEAMworks we had a similar concept in mobility. Moving forward yielded 5 points in autonomous. Using Insights provided by TBA we can see that at no event did 100% of teams in all matches achieve this task for whatever the reason. The only exception is St. Louis Einstein. Week 1 the combined average was 77.59% compared to Houston and St. Louis combined 95.54% in qualifications. I believe as a community we can all work to make this number go up even in the early weeks and make it 100%.
Tackling the problem:
For various reasons, a team may not earn an auto run by virtue of not being present in the match or not moving. These reasons can range from not being inspected to not having an autonomous or even having code issues We need to work with all teams to ensure they can both appear for their match and have working software. Teams should realize that even though their robot may not have every single function ready for primetime, they can still appear for their match and move. Doing a pre-competition inspection using the inspection form posted by FIRST can help solve many “discoveries” made on competition day. Other more veteran teams can help by focusing teams that are not yet ready and assisting where needed if it is for mechanical, electrical or software.
Teams must also gain ownership of their switch by way of dropping of a power cube on their side of the switch. Know the fence surrounds the switch and is 18 3/4 inches tall to account for field tolerances expect to need to clear 19 inches (or more if you are paranoid). You may start with a power cube thus knowing obtaining or the orientation of the cube should be easy. The challenge is to create appropriate code determining which side of the switch to drop the cube.
For teams that may see this as a huge challenge alone, a possible strategy is to have 2 robots, one on each side of the switch and depending on which side your color is on have that robot drop the cube onto the switch as all robots move forward. This strategy removes the complexity of starting on one side of the switch and needing to place on the other.
This challenge does not require huge feats of great mechanical or electrical skills. For some, it is the inclusion of a single line of code to just drive straight. Others, its a game plan with their alliance. I hope this is a goal all teams can share in on their journey through FIRST Power Up.
To help teams who view auto as a scary challenge I have put some links down below to some helpful resources. As always, never feel afraid to reach out and get help. There are various members of the FIRST community who will help at any task. Likewise, if you see a team in need of assistance, help in whatever way you can.
Some useful links:
Taking in FMS data
Accept the Quest and have fun escaping Arcade!